Wimereux is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...



Wimereux is a coastal town situated some 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Boulogne, at the junction of the D233 and the D940 roads, on the banks of the river Wimereux. The river Slack
Slack River
The Slack is a 22 km long river in the Pas-de-Calais department, in northern France.It rises at Hermelinghen on Mount Binôt, flows through Rinxent, Marquise, Beuvrequen, Slack and flows into the English Channel in Ambleteuse....

 forms the northern boundary of the commune, the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 the western. Farming and tourism are its principal activities.


At the Pointe-aux-Oies, dolmen
A dolmen—also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, dolmain , cromlech , anta , Hünengrab/Hünenbett , Adamra , Ispun , Hunebed , dös , goindol or quoit—is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of...

 can still be seen at a Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

 prehistoric site, the first known settlement of Wimereux.

Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban and later Marquis de Vauban , commonly referred to as Vauban, was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age, famed for his skill in both designing fortifications and breaking through them...

 built a coastal fort at the mouth of the river Wimereux, the ruins showed at low-tide until the 1940s, when they disappeared completely.
Napoleon ordered a port to be built here between 1803 and 1804, taking its name from the river. In 1840, the future Napoleon III, first president (and last monarch) of France, landed at Pointe aux Oies.

The territory of Wimereux originally belonged to the commune of Wimille
Wimille is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.-Geography:Wimille is a farming and light industrial town situated some north of Boulogne, at the junction of the D233 and the D237 roads, on the banks of the river Wimereux. The river Slack forms the...

, from which it separated on May 28, 1899. In the same year, the first radio link between France and England was established at Wimereux in April by Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 and Édouard Branly
Edouard Branly
Édouard Eugène Désiré Branly was a French inventor, physicist and professor at the Institut Catholique de Paris. He is primarily known for his early involvement in wireless telegraphy and his invention of the Branly coherer around 1890.-Biography:The coherer was the first widely used detector for...


In the First World War, a Red Cross hospital was set up and run here by Lady Hadfield at her own expense for the treatment of wounded and sick servicemen. In 1916, Solomon J Solomon set up a Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

 establishment, the Special Works Park, in a disused feldspar
Feldspars are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth's crust....

 factory. Here were developed new camouflage
Military camouflage
Military camouflage is one of many means of deceiving an enemy. In practice, it is the application of colour and materials to battledress and military equipment to conceal them from visual observation. The French slang word camouflage came into common English usage during World War I when the...

 techniques and equipment for the British Army.

The seaside development was started during the Second Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

, resulting in a remarkable architectural ensemble of houses and buildings typical of the Belle Epoque
Belle Époque
The Belle Époque or La Belle Époque was a period in European social history that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I. Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic and the German Empire, it was a period characterised by optimism and new technological and medical...

, which are still very well maintained to this day. Originally the secondary residence of wealthy families of Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

 and Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Wimereux has become, in the last twenty years or so, a residential suburb of the town of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Wimereux also attracts Britons, Belgians and Russians who come to buy holiday homes or settle permanently.

Places of interest

  • The church of the Immaculate Conception, dating from the twentieth century.
  • The nineteenth century chapel of Notre-Dame.
  • The Villa ‘Les Mauriciens’
  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is an intergovernmental organisation of six independent member states whose principal function is to mark, record and maintain the graves, and places of commemoration, of Commonwealth of Nations military service members who died in the two World Wars...

  • A golf
    Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....



  • Lionel Percy Smythe
    Lionel Percy Smythe
    Lionel Percy Smythe, RA RWS RI ROI was an English artist, and etcher.-Life and work:Lionel Percy Smythe was the son of Percy Clinton Sydney Smythe, 6th Viscount Strangford and Katherine Benham. He was born in London on 4 September 1839 and spent his early years in France, where his younger sister...

    , English landscape artist, lived here from 1879-1918.
  • Alfred Mathieu Giard
    Alfred Mathieu Giard
    Alfred Mathieu Giard was a French zoologist born in Valenciennes on August 8, 1846. He was a professor at the Sorbonne, at École centrale de Lille and served as director of the marine laboratory in Wimereux ....

    , zoologist and director of the marine research establishment at Wimereux.
  • John McCrae
    John McCrae
    Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

    , author of "In Flanders Fields", is buried in the CWGC cemetery.
  • Jack Lang, politician and one-time government minister.
  • Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, aviation
    Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

     pioneer, crashed to his death from a balloon here.
  • Maurice Boitel
    Maurice Boitel
    Maurice Boitel Maurice Boitel Maurice Boitel (July 31, 1919 – August 11, 2007 in Audresselles (Pas-de-Calais), was a French painter.-Artistic life:Maurice Boitel belonged to the art movement called "La Jeune Peinture" ("Young Picture") of the School of Paris, with painters like Bernard Buffet, Yves...

    , artist, exhibited here in the 1980s and 1990s.

Twin towns

Wimereux is twinned with the following cities: Herne Bay, Kent
Herne Bay, Kent
Herne Bay is a seaside town in Kent, South East England, with a population of 35,188. On the south coast of the Thames Estuary, it is north of Canterbury and east of Whitstable. It neighbours the ancient villages of Herne and Reculver and is part of the City of Canterbury local government district...

, England Schmallenberg
Schmallenberg is a town in the district of Hochsauerland. Relating to its area of 188 square miles it is the largest town belonging to an administrative Kreis in the federal state of North Rhine/Westphalia, Germany....

, Germany.

External links

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